Enzo Maresca update emerges as Chelsea chiefs fly to Spain for next manager talks

Enzo Maresca is in the running to be the next Chelsea manager
-Credit: (Image: Copa/Getty Images)

Enzo Maresca has seemingly moved a step closer to becoming the next Chelsea manager.

The Blues are still searching for a replacement for Mauricio Pochettino, who left the club by mutual consent last week.

Pochettino had guided Chelsea to a sixth-place finish in the Premier League, which secured a spot in next season's Europa Conference League thanks to Manchester United's victory in the FA Cup.

Maresca has been identified as the number one candidate to be Pochettino's successor in the Stamford Bridge dugout. Maresca guided Leicester City to promotion to the Premier League this season and won the Championship title in the process.

Chelsea held talks with the Foxes over seeking permission to speak to Maresca over their managerial vacancy earlier this week.

With most of the groundwork done to bring Maresca to Stamford Bridge, it seems that the likelihood of the 44-year-old being the next Blues boss is becoming increasingly certain.

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Betting has now been suspended with Betfair on Maresca becoming the next Chelsea manager. Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: "On Tuesday morning, we suspended the next permanent Chelsea manager market after a flurry of bets were placed on Enzo Maresca to succeed Mauricio Pochettino."

The update comes after news emerged that sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart are expected to make a trip to Spain to hold talks with Maresca over taking charge of the Blues.

An agreement has yet to be reached between the club and Maresca for the Leicester boss to become the next Chelsea manager. However, it seems that the bookmakers believe that the latest updates are an indication that Maresca is all but set to take charge at Stamford Bridge this summer.

Maresca previously worked at Manchester City as part of Pep Guardiola's backroom staff before taking charge of Leicester last summer. He guided the Foxes to promotion to the Premier League in his first season and has already been in the Stamford Bridge dugout this season. Maresca took charge of Leicester in their FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea in March, which ended in a 4-2 victory for the Blues.